Biden tours Kentucky with far-right GOP congressman after devastating tornadoes: ‘Putting politics aside’
After Kentucky was battered by deadly tornadoes this month, President Joe Biden made a beeline for the Bluegrass State — and the fact that former President Donald Trump carried Kentucky by 26% in 2020 obviously didn’t matter to him. Biden surveyed the damage on Wednesday, December 15, when he was joined by Rep. James Comer — the pro-Trump Republican who represents Kentucky’s 1st Congressional District.
CNN’s Maegan Vazquez reports, “The Republican congressman's appearance next to a Democratic president marked a rare moment of putting politics aside. The moment was propelled by tragedy, with at least 71 people dead in the state in the wake of last weekend's extreme weather. During his speech in Dawson Springs, Biden briefly thanked the congressman for giving him a ‘passport’ into his district.”
When Donald Trump was president, he openly expressed contempt for blue states he didn’t win in 2016 and made it clear that red states — his base — were his priority. But Biden, touring Kentucky with the right-wing Comer, made it clear that he was in Kentucky simply because it was the right thing to do after a major disaster.
Vazquez quotes Biden as saying, “There's no red tornadoes or blue tornadoes. There's no red states or blue states when this stuff starts to happen. And I think, at least in my experience, it either brings people together or really knocks them apart.”
Before the Kentucky tornadoes, Comer — the top Republican on the House Oversight Committee — was often openly hostile to Biden. Comer has said that if Republicans retake the House in the 2022 midterms, pursuing investigations of his son Hunter Biden will be a top priority for him. And he voted against impeaching Trump after pro-Trump insurrectionists violently attacked the U.S. Capitol Building on January 6.
But even natural disasters don’t necessarily mean that far-right Republicans will be able to give their partisan bitterness a rest. After Hurricane Sandy battered New Jersey in 2012, conservative Republican then-Gov. Chris Christie stressed that he greatly appreciated President Barack Obama’s visit to his state regardless of their policy differences. And Tea Party wingnuts slammed Christie as a RINO (Republican In Name Only) for committing the cardinal sin of having something nice to say about Obama. Chris Stigall, a far-right wingnut talk radio host who was on Philadelphia’s WPHT-AM at the time, was vehemently critical of Christie for welcoming Obama to New Jersey after Hurricane Sandy.
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